All Summer One Day
They all waited for the moment. It had been raining for seven years. Yes, Yes! I said its stopping. There I was apart from those who couldn’t remember a time when there was no rain. They were all nine year old, and if there had been one day where their wasn’t rain, they wouldn’t recall. I sometimes heard them stir in remembrance, but I knew they were probably dreaming and remembering gold or yellow crayon. All day yesterday they read about the sun, after that they wrote poems about it. I think the sun is a flower that blooms for just an hour.
That was my poem. You didn’t write that said one of the boys. I did I said. William said the teacher. Where’s teacher? She’ll be back. I stood alone; I was a frail girl who looked as if she had been lost in the rain for years. What’re you looking at? Said William. I just stood there and didn’t reply. Speak when your spoken to he gave me a push. I didn’t move I let myself be moved only by him. The crime of all was that she had come here five years ago from earth, and she remembered the sun. I found out my parents would take me back to earth next year.
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The children hated her cause of that. “Get away! ” the boy gave me another push. What’re you waiting for? For the first time I turned and looked at him. The boys said well don’t wait around here! My lips moved. Nothing he cried! It was all a joke wasn’t it? He turned to the other students and said nothing happening today, is it? They blinked at him and not understanding laughed and shook their heads. “Nothing, Nothing. ” I whispered but this is the day the scientists predict the sun…” All a joke said the boy, and seized me roughly.
He said hey everyone let’s put her in the closet before teacher comes. No I said falling back. They surged at me, caught up to me and bore me. They slammed the door and locked the door. They stood looking at the door where they saw it trembling from her beating and throwing herself against it. They heard me crying. They smiled and went back. Just as they arrived the teacher came in. She asked is everyone here? Yes they said. The rain stopped. The door slid back and the smell of the silent waiting came into them. The sun came out.
One of the girls who was running yelled and everyone stopped and looked at her. She held open her hand. They came slowly to look at her open palm. In the center of it was a single raindrop. She began crying, looking at it. They glanced quickly at the sky. A few drops fell on their face. The sun faded behind a stir of mist. They turned and started to walk back toward the underground house, their hands at their sides, their smiles vanishing away. They stood in the doorway of the underground for a moment until it was raining hard. “Will it be seven more years? “Yes seven. ” Then one of them gave a little cry. “Margot! ” “What? ” “She’s still in the closet where we left her. ” They stood as if someone had driven them, like so many stakes, into the floor. They glanced at each other and then looked away. Their faces were sole men and pale. Then they looked at their hands and feet, their faces down. “Margot” one of the girls said. “Well” No one moved. “Go on” whispered the girl. They walked to the closet slowly and stood by it. Behind the closet door was only silence. They unlocked the door, even more slowly and let Margot out.